Dr. McDonald provided a vision of excellence


Desert Vista is a vision.

The vision was crafted by the late Dr. Joe McDonald, the high school’s founding principal.

Before he passed away in 2020, Dr. McDonald visited the campus and sat down with DVTV student reporter Trent Manager and adviser Michelle Coro to reflect on his impact on the school.

In the interview, Dr. McDonald relays the history of Desert Vista, sharing little-known stories and illuminating how he crafted a vision, along with 13 hand-selected original staff members, to create Desert Vista. The 15-minute video explores McDonald’s thoughts on the thousands of Thunder faculty, staff, and students who have walked the halls of DV since it opened in 1995, including his teacher-daughter, Chanda, and student-grandson, Kai, who are members of DV’s current campus family.

Known for his big smile, big personality and big dreams, the school honors the inaugural big man on campus on Thursday, Sept. 23, with a special event that kicks off with a 6 p.m. courtyard reception. Speakers will share the inspiration that Dr. McDonald provided for the school and its community. The first varsity football home game of the season follows at 7 p.m. against the Corona del Sol Aztecs. The game also will be broadcast by Cox TV as part of its Thursday Night Football lineup.

McDonald wrote the school alma mater. His words live on to impact the lives of magnificence that roll with the Thunder.